The City of Hillsboro took another step toward rolling out municipal fiber this week, authorizing a $180,000 contract for consultants who will help develop things like marketing and customer service workflows.

The City of Hillsboro plans to offer gigabit fiber to every home and business, a process that will take 10 years according to officials. Residential access to the service is estimated to cost $50 a month. Council approved a $700,000 contract for designing the network back in June, so a significant amount of money is already on the table here.

The new $180,000 contract is with UpTown Services, who have helped roll out similar projects in other cities. Here’s Greg Mont, Information Services Director for the city, in a memo to city council:

As part of this contract, [UpTown Services] will be responsible for advising and training City personnel in the various aspects of operating a broadband utility including marketing, customer service, installation processes, commercial and multi-dwelling unit account management, and hiring. They will also operate as members of our City team to provide several of these services while we hire and train our City staff. They provide us with a bench of expert personnel to call on until we have our own team in place.

This might not sound as exciting as designing a network and putting it in the ground, but setting up a municipal broadband utility is a lot more than that. Things like customer service and marketing are key to making it all work.

City council approved the contract during the August 21 city council meeting.